Monday, June 15, 2015

Virtual 13er - Race Recap

This past weekend was the actual Skirt Sports 13er race in Louisville, Colorado and although I really, Really, REALLY wish I could have been there for it I could at least participate via a virtual race! I knew going into it that I really wasn't prepared for 13.1 miles even though I had done the Avocado Half just three weeks back and the Idyllwild 10k just last weekend. My training leading up to both of those races was pretty darn pathetic and just because you can run 13.1 miles, doesn't mean that you're body necessarily wants to. But I put on my game face and prepared to tackle the distance all by my lonesome.

I started out with my Mom & Sister for the loop around the neighborhood before stopping to use the facilities (that were really nice BTW - best race facilities ever considering it was my own bathroom at home! LOL) and bidding adieu to Mom & Sis and heading outside of the neighborhood. I had planned a route ahead of time, but this is going to come back into play here in a moment so just hold onto that little nugget for a moment.

Wearing my Skirt Sports Fearless Visor, Go Getter Tank, Kelly Bra, and Switzer Skirt (not shown here)
I decided that since I wasn't all that prepared that I would run 5:00/2:00 intervals and would just do my best to run when I was supposed to. This worked out pretty well for the first 7-8ish miles but I seriously ran out of steam along the way and started feeling every single ache and pain - like a twinge in my "bad" knee, the bad form that was causing my toes to catch the pavement on my right leg, the soreness on the top of my left foot. Every random ache and pain possible...but really I think it was because my brain wasn't in the right place. I knew I wasn't prepared, but I went for it anyways.

So where the pre-planned route comes back into the picture is right about the same time the wheels started falling off of my pretty red wagon...coincidence? I think not.

I had planned a route that included some new to me sections, along with some tried and true areas all within my local area. I got to run my "bridge", the hills by the high school and then an out and back on a new stretch of sidewalk that was previously un-runnable due to high traffic. Then the "plan" was to go down this section I call "the long boring" however I hadn't planned on the fact that I was out there all by myself this time and the long boring is a section that is sparsely populated and runs along the backs of houses and a large dirt field. If I was with someone else I would have felt perfectly comfortable going down that route; however, by myself it just didn't feel right. I felt like I would be isolating myself just a bit too much running that area, especially since it was early still and there were some random people out and about. So I made the decision to stick to the more populated streets, in essence removing a couple mile loop.

So as I came back towards my actual neighborhood, I ran my bridge one more time and then had the option of keeping going on the street or heading back inside the gates and finishing out inside my community. I opted for heading inside the community and that's when I totally fizzled. I had gone 10.5 miles at that point and had little aches and pains everywhere and I'll admit it...I totally gave up. Could I have done another couple miles and finished my 13.1? Yeah, probably. Would it have killed me or caused grievous injury? Probably not. But I didn't have it in me and I knew it. I was out there by myself, I was hungry, I was hot and sweaty, I was tired, and I was DONE. I knew it. So I threw in the towel and ended with 11.1 miles. If I had done that route that I originally planned, I probably would have finished the full 13.1. But the way I look at it is that it was better for me to be self-aware of my surroundings and potential dangers and make it home with 11.1 miles than to be stupid and not make it home at all. Right?

I'm still pretty upset with myself for not just finishing it. And I know that yet again, my downfall was my mental toughness. It gets me every single time. I start to get the hamster brain of doubt, pain, fatigue and I just give up. It kills me. I could have run my neighborhood loops a couple times and gotten it done safely, but the thought of running those streets by myself was extremely undesirable.

So the bad brain won again.

But I'm not completely out...I learned some things that I can use in my next training cycle and I made it home safely with 11 miles under my belt. None of those things say I'm a loser...and since I was running a virtual race, guess what - there's nobody to say I didn't finish it!!! Ha!!

Next year I'm hoping I can actually be in Colorado, but even if I'm on my own again in 2016, I know that I can implement some lessons learned and do a better job of it! So here's to 2016 and 13er redemption!


  1. Congrats for getting 11.1 miles done! That's still a lot of running! Even though we all CAN do a half marathon, doesn't mean the time is right for one like you stated.
    I just did a half at the beginning of the month (walked the last 4mi), and I've got 10-11mi on my NYC Marathon training schedule for this coming Saturday. I decided that I'm playing this season smart. No unnecessary stuff, that means do the miles on the schedule, period.
    Be proud of what you accomplished, especially being out there solo! Staying safe is a big deal too!

    1. Thank you Shannon!! It is still a lot of running and more than I would have done if I had just skipped it entirely. :-) Sounds like you have a smart plan in place for your training - kill those miles this weekend, girlie!!!

  2. Great job, Kristen! I'm honestly not good at the mental toughness thing, either. I can handle one thing - maybe being slightly sick, or the weather being just OK, or running a route that's not normal (btw, great call on not running the isolated route alone!) but put 2 or more of them together and I'm OUT. Working on it but honestly, it's just part of who I am. Missed you in CO!!!!

    1. Jennifer - I wanted to cry every single time I saw the pictures on Fb this weekend from CO...I so wish I could have been there although I'm not too upset that I didn't run a hilly half marathon. ;-) LOL I'm definitely making plans to be in CO next year!!